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Old 01-29-2015, 11:38 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
21,869 posts, read 14,383,691 times
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I've talked to other retirees, and to others about to retire, and I have decided that most of us have been traumatized by our work experience. It took DH and me several years to talk through our feelings and relief at not having to go to work any more. I would not say I was to the burned out stage, but I was really tired of dealing with constant change and ever shifting demands. I was already working hard, and I had trouble feeling that I needed to work more.

Change happens in workplace. But when it happens repeatedly, and expectations change repeatedly, work life get old. And we are getting older along with the expectations.

I think you are getting a break from a grind that traumatized you. So, take your break. When it is time for you to be productive, if that is what you want, then you will.

Retirement is a gift. Enjoy your new gift.
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Old 01-30-2015, 07:46 AM
 
7,801 posts, read 4,391,333 times
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Thank you all for justifying MY inertia, too; lol! I feel better already, and I'm not even retired yet...
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Old 01-30-2015, 11:46 AM
 
12,825 posts, read 20,144,092 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silibran View Post
I've talked to other retirees, and to others about to retire, and I have decided that most of us have been traumatized by our work experience. It took DH and me several years to talk through our feelings and relief at not having to go to work any more. I would not say I was to the burned out stage, but I was really tired of dealing with constant change and ever shifting demands. I was already working hard, and I had trouble feeling that I needed to work more.

Change happens in workplace. But when it happens repeatedly, and expectations change repeatedly, work life get old. And we are getting older along with the expectations.

I think you are getting a break from a grind that traumatized you. So, take your break. When it is time for you to be productive, if that is what you want, then you will.

Retirement is a gift. Enjoy your new gift.
Essentially, work life has become rubbish for many in the developed countries, most especially the Anglo Saxon ones. The approach to dealing with globalization has been to try and game it for the benefit of shareholders meanwhile for the average middle income person in mid management and below, it's work harder, the beatings will continue until performance improves. Globalization has been a crock of ____ for most workers. Sadly, this mentality has even made it a bit into the public sector as we see from some of the comments here - in that case it is more around seeming to add more value for the taxpayers, which on its face is a great idea but given the horrible tendencies of current management approaches, it is a nightmare for those involved.
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Old 01-30-2015, 11:48 AM
 
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Well, now we're getting political...
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:51 PM
 
40 posts, read 42,699 times
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One thing I have come to understand through this thread is that the Post-Traumatic Career Disorder is real. And, apparently, it's common.

My case is odd because I am actually in limbo-land right now. I cannot retire for another two full months (eligibility reasons), but I am on unpaid leave right now. In order to do that, I had to resign from my teaching position, which I just did a couple of weeks ago.

There is no closure at my place of work.

That same day when I wrote the one-sentence resignation, I was told, "Turn in your ID and office keys to the campus police, and have everything out of your office by the end of the day." Fortunately, I had been 'travelling light' and my personal effects could be carried in my two hands. They let me keep the thin plastic sheet on my office door that had my name and under it -- "Professor." Everything else was left behind.

Before I could finish wiping down my empty office, someone else was assigned to it. My position was immediately *handed* to my supervisor's friend. (I still don't know how they pulled that one off and can only say 'Well played.')

I returned a single borrowed item to a psychology professor and then walked alone to my car for the last time. The campus grackles and starlings and mockingbirds whom I watched daily were busily searching for treats in the grass.

There was no "Thank you for spending your entire adult life educating people" or "Job well done." There was only silence.

--

I had taught a wide variety of subjects. The course that I dreamt about (mentioned earlier in this thread) introduced writings to students, and the lesson plan in the dream was a favorite one that I taught -- the Dale Wasserman play "Man of La Mancha," an exquisitely written work with magnificent vocabulary. Another thing I had taught in that same class was a short diary, A Grief Observed, by C.S. Lewis, the excruciatingly intimate account of a man's naked grief after losing his wife. Most of my students had had very little experience with grief, but I wanted them to have something to shelve in the back of their brains so that they could pull it out later when they needed it and then they could know that they were not alone.

Bayarea4 in this thread says, "I think PTSD is like grief ..." I had come to realize while logging my thoughts that some of the sentiments I was expressing were similar to the reflections of grief in the Lewis book and that there is a likely a mourning period after retirement, even happy retirement. There also needs to be a healing period for those of us who were severely stressed.

A few days ago, a colleague "friend" from my department [all friendships at work were strictly superficial and based solely on political alliances] emailed me and wrote "I heard that these four people all got together today and were gossiping about you: [she lists the four names]." She said nothing more. I understand that the sentence was meant as a final angry stab into a corpse. I was hurt by it, agitated at the thought of the colleagues' gossip (what were they saying???) and betrayed by the "friend" who thought she needed to tell me.

I'm not actually depressed -- I am too happy right now to be depressed. This morning my license plates came in (I had traded in my car for one that I can move more easily in when I downsize) and I went to pick them up. They always have someone put them on for customers, but I insisted on doing it myself. I had parked at a different dealership next door, and I sat on the ground in the parking lot with my wrench (they use a non-standard size hex screw, but I had found the right piece for my wrench in advance) and put on my license plates. The young men inside with their electric drills were probably busting a gut watching the little old lady taking a little bit too long. It was a completely trivial task, but I took great pleasure in accomplishing it. I then treated myself to their complimentary coffee (the kind of coffee that says, Gee you look good today!) and grabbed the Friday crossword and Sudoku and took off.

And last night I dragged myself out of the house -- kicking and screaming -- and attended an improvisational comedy workshop. Having been a professor of so many things for so many years, I am well-accustomed to making an arse of myself and am really quite good at it. Last night was no different -- I was a good three decades older than everyone else in the room -- and I had a blast.

Even so, I do need to address the PTCD and begin the healing process. You guys are a terrific help.
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:52 PM
 
13 posts, read 11,607 times
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Default Breathe

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowtired14 View Post
I looked at your pictures and here's what I see, a love for animals and nature, patience, detail, creativity, and a sense of humor. I think you have left your empty work life behind and are healing your spirit with a fulfilling passion. You are an inspiration to those of us who still walk into that souless job everyday and wonder if we can ever disconnect from the rat race. I'd say that's not meaningless, thanks for your story curmugette.
I agree with snowtired.

I am not retired yet but hopefully will be in 5 years. Your photos are beautiful and telling. It seemed to me that your photographing was a relaxing pleasure to you.

I was laid off from a job (actually wore many hats) that I did for over 11 years. I went through a depression (my husband noted but I didn't feel it) sat around, played a lot on the computer and also wondered what the heck was I going to do? I got scared. Then I got a job working with a friend two years later. Its half as stressful as my old job but that is just fine with me. I am currently daydreaming about retiring!

Since there was a vacancy of employment and now I know that when the time comes for ME to retire I will approach it much differently. I am looking forward to it, to being like a teenager again, to do what I want, when I want (more or less).

My second advise to you is BREATHE. It's all okay. Really.
Again, thanks for the beautiful photos!
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, California
118 posts, read 128,028 times
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This thread has been my therapy and very personal to me for the past few days, I'm so happy that I found it!

I have been planning my retirement for several years and felt like a kid looking forward to a trip to Disneyland. I have plans for so many things, that I could hardly wait to do.

I am a Registered Nurse in an intensive care setting and have loved my career, I used to joke that I'd do my job for free. Lately, tho I've been feeling a bit burned out and abused. I worked on Martin Luther King day and next day went to Dr. who said, no more work on my sore foot for two months. So I am out on disability and it is obvious that I will not go back. Like OP, instant retirement!! No party, no co-workers making jokes about my new status. Even my adult kids don't know.

I have been thru every emotion in the book... none of them expected. Mostly I am bewildered. I have spent hours crying, but at times I am so happy to be free. I have never felt so lost and alone in my whole life!

I took a deep breath for the first time when "Listner" posted that he fell asleep everytime he sat down. OH MY!! That's what has been happening to me. We night nurses pride ourselves on going without sleep and living on coffee, but I'm amazed at how much I am sleeping!

OP, I would love to take your courses, the two you mentioned sound so exciting. I think you would be a fascinating person to meet with for a cup of tea and just talk...

Many Thanks to all posters, you have no idea how much you have helped me get my feet on the ground that has had a major shift recently.
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Old 01-30-2015, 03:20 PM
 
7,801 posts, read 4,391,333 times
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Of course, as a nurse, you have all kinds of options. Can work in any city (in any number of hospitals, in a large enough one), any shifts, any hours, etc. Also in offices, for companies, online consulting... Your retirement need not be permanent, unlike those of us with 30-year 9-to-5 pensioned jobs that, once they end, there ain't no comin' back! Congrats and enjoy.
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Old 01-30-2015, 04:07 PM
 
Location: Bay Area, California
118 posts, read 128,028 times
Reputation: 619
Yes, I understand that many types of work are available to me and that those of you with pensions make a decision that is permanent. I can't even imagine applying for a job at this point in my life!

My grief comes from loving my career for 45 years and really the foot is giving out... end of the line. I love acute care, touching & talking to patients, the grief is missing that despite a good deal of burn out. (Burn out mostly from administration, denied vacations, demanding families... never the patients) I have been with my current hospital 35 years so I am putting away a huge part of my history.

The grief was just so very unexpected and blind-sided me! I have plenty of exciting things to do, once I feel like myself again.

P.S. I'd love a pension, we only have a 403b, which I started after my divorce in my mid-40's. Oh and they will give me a cake too!
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Old 01-30-2015, 04:19 PM
 
5,426 posts, read 3,450,730 times
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At the company for which I worked, people who got fired were walked to the elevator, escorted onto the elevator, and walked to the outside, while a Human Resources (employment office of the firm) carried a large cardboard box of the employee's possessions.

This procedure made it fairly impossible for an employee to steal anything, if anyone had that in mind. And it was a also a signal that the employee was no longer wanted...obviously.

I saw this happen to a number of employees over the years, and it was always a traumatic scene.

I can't remember if the same procedure was carried out for employees who quit.
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